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Travail Kitchen and Amusements

4124 W. Broadway Robbinsdale, MN 55422 | Robbinsdale | 763-535-1131

Location Description:

Travail Kitchen and Amusements is the best thing to happen to the northern suburbs in quite some time. Chefs James Winberg and Mike Brown, two Porter & Frye alumni who drew notice for their innovative gastropub fare at Victory 44, finally have their own place. It's named in homage to their royal blue aprons, derived from the French verb travailler, which means "to work" and the workhorse crew seems hell-bent on serving a blend of down-home and haute cuisine at extremely reasonable prices. (The endless-seeming multi-course dessert tasting appears to be modeled on some sort of promotion where you pay for the ingredients and get the labor free.) At Travail, the chefs function as servers, and for diners, the experience feels a little like praying directly to God, without having to go through an intermediary. Travail's cuisine might be characterized as a mashup of fine dining and pub fare, with plenty of experimental dishes--mozzarella balloon, anyone? You can dine on deconstructed rabbit for roughly the price of a burger. And that burger, by the way, is bar food made better: a tender, steaky patty made from a house-ground blend of sirloin, butter, and rendered beef fat. The fish and chips are equally tasty, battered in a thin tempura that crackles like a dried leaf but keeps the beer-brined fish moist and salty. Travail's charcuterie plate is among the best in the metro, notable for its hearty generosity. The always-changing selection might feature duck liver mousse, an "adult" bologna with the tang of foie gras, or a slab of headcheese that's had its edges crisped on the griddle. And it's a reminder of Travail's ability to run an efficient kitchen, not letting anything go to waste, right down to the pig skull leftover from the headcheese, which doubles as window décor.


Related Stories (15)

Details

  • Cuisine(s): American, Gastro Pub, Wine Bar
  • Hours: Tue-Sat 5pm-10pm
  • Price: $
  • Serving: Dinner, Lunch
  • Alcohol: Beer/Wine
  • Reservations: Not Accepted
  • Parking: Street

Related Stories

  • The Hot Dish: Interview
    If the owners of Travail could play hooky from one duty around their kitchen it would be the caster work (that's the long and difficult job of cleaning up the wheels and bases of all of the...
  • The Hot Dish: Drink of the Week
    Pisco the Night Away The Rookery $11 You hear it before you see it: raucous music blaring and cheerful light spilling from tall flung open windows -- you've made it to the party on an...
  • Restaurants: Reviewed
    Don't forget to check out all our gorgeous photos from Travail and The Rookery... "They're not tapas," insists Mike Brown, chef and co-owner of Robbinsdale's latest addition, the revival...
  • The Hot Dish: Now Open
    Beck is thumping through the speakers as chefs move swiftly about the giant open space. Sodas are being bottled and carbonated by hand. A grown man in a teddy bear hat furiously digs in a...
  • The Hot Dish: Off the Menu
    From smashing down walls, to building a pizza joint to hosting pop-ups all over town (including the forthcoming pop-up Umami), the chefs behind Travail have hardly been taking it easy. This...
  • The Hot Dish: Now Open
    There are a few things you'll want to know before heading out to Pig Ate My Pizza, the new restaurant in the former Travail space (also owned by the same guys). First, parking is easy on...
  • The Hot Dish: Coming Soon
    Travail Kitchen and Amusements, otherwise known as Robbinsdale's crown gastronomic jewel, announced it will be closing on April 6, to the shock and dismay of many a local foodie. But don't...
  • Restaurants: Reviewed
    The Twin Cities restaurant scene has its share of empire builders, restaurateurs who find a formula that works and stick with it. In 2010, D'Amico's and Barrio expanded into the suburbs,...
  • The Hot Dish: Foodography
    This week I jumped on the bandwagon and headed to Travail. I had been there once before for lunch, but this visit blew that meal out of the water, with a lunch date that lasted more than...
  • The Hot Dish: Top 5
    This week's Dish features Travail Kitchen and Amusements, whose unique, gourmet gastropub fare makes it worth the drive to Robbinsdale from elsewhere in the metro. If you live in...
  • The Hot Dish: Review Recap
    Here's a quick recap of this week's Dish column on Travail Kitchen and Amusements with the essentials of what you need to know when you go to the new Robbinsdale restaurant: Who should go:...
  • Restaurants: Reviewed
    Have you ever seen a balloon made out of mozzarella cheese? House-made mozzarella, that is, pulled by a couple of guys who look young and impish enough to be huffing the contents of the...
  • The Hot Dish: Sneak Peek
    Chefs whirl around in a food prep hurricane the afternoon we visit Travail Kitchen and Amusements, now open in Robbinsdale. With choice seasonal delights and a 20-item menu that changes...
  • The Hot Dish: Month in Review
    OPEN Olive's, Marine on St. Croix Travail Kitchen and Amusements, Robbinsdale Surdyk's Flights, MSP Airport Heartland (move to Lowertown), St. Paul Simple Sandwich, Minneapolis Moe's...
  • The Hot Dish: Now Open
    Mike Brown and James Winberg made a name for themselves with their tasty, playful pub fare at the North Side's Victory 44 and then decamped for the suburbs. Their new venue, Travail Kitchen...

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